As Canada is one of the most preferred countries among international students to pursue higher education, it has always been chosen by prospective students who wish to lead a better life. The benefits of studying in Canada, such as immigration policies, attractive post-study work visas, high quality of life and education, and comparatively affordable programs, make it even more appealing.
What does a low acceptance rate mean?
A low acceptance rate at a university means that the percentage of applicants who are offered admission to the university is relatively small. For example, if a university has an acceptance rate of 5%, it means that only 5 out of every 100 applicants are admitted, while the remaining 95 are not.
Generally, a lower acceptance rate indicates that the university is highly selective and that the admissions standards and requirements are rigorous. Canadian universities with low acceptance rates often receive many applications, so the competition for admission is high. In some cases, a low acceptance rate may also indicate that the university has limited resources and capacity to accommodate many students.
Low acceptance rate universities in Canada
Top-ranking universities in Canada are not just great for domestic students but also for international students. Some of these institutions have competitive admission criteria and requirements and these aspects make it tough for students to be admitted. The low acceptance rates are due to the high GPA required and other strict admission procedures that include a robust application with letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and work experience, among others. There may also be a requirement for SAT or ACT scores.
We have compiled a list of Canadian universities with low acceptance rates below, which also means that these are among the best ranked in the country. Book a free consultation with SI-Canada today if you want admission to any of these universities and need help with application procedures.
Canada Universities with Low Acceptance Rates
York University (27%)
York University is Canada’s fourth-largest university with over 54,000 students enrolled in 200+ undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The public research university is located in Toronto and is well-known for being a driving force of positive change.
The high quality of education and variety of programs make students choose the university, but due to its competitive admission criteria, it remains an institution with low acceptance rates. The employer satisfaction rate (based on the survey of GTA employers who hired graduates from York) of the university graduates is around 90%. Even if the acceptance rate is low, the university has a welcoming and diverse community with over 10,000 international students from 172 countries.
Western University (30%)
Founded in 1878, Western University is ranked among the top 1% of educational institutions globally. It is located in London, Ontario is also known as the University of Western Ontario.
Currently, over 43,000 students are enrolled in the university, with 4,759 international students from 129 countries. Western University has 12 faculties, including the ones for professional programs in Business, Law, Medicine and Engineering. It offers over 400 combinations of undergraduate majors and minor specialisations and has 88 different graduate degree programs. Having a 92.5% employment rate after six months of graduation, the university is preferred by many students. Still, the low acceptance rate means that only exceptional students can get admission to the university.
University of Toronto (40%)
The top-ranking university of Canada in most of the World University Rankings, such as the Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings, the U of T is highly competitive and selective. It has a low acceptance rate as the admission procedure is more challenging than most other universities.
However, it is still easier to get into if we compare it with the top US universities. The largest and among the oldest educational institutions in the country, it houses over 84,000 students and offers undergraduate and graduate programs available in various disciplines.
McGill University (42%)
Among the most prestigious universities in Canada, McGill University is a public research university that is located in Montreal, in the province of Quebec. It was founded in 1821, and the current name was changed in 1885.
The university offers various degrees and other diplomas in more than 300 fields. The reputation of the university makes it difficult for students to crack admission as it also has the highest average entering grades from other universities in Canada. McGill is also the most internationally diverse university in the medical-research field and has 30% international students. Most students enrol in the largest faculties of Arts, Medicine, Science, Engineering, Education and Management>.
Queen’s University (45%)
Queen’s University at Kingston, commonly known as simply Queen’s or Queen’s University, is located in Kingston, Ontario. One of Canada's most reputed research universities, it comprises eight faculties and schools.
The university was founded in 1841 with a royal charter from Queen Victoria and was established by the Church of Scotland as Queen’s College. It also became the first Canadian university, located west of the maritime provinces, in 1869 to admit women to an educational institution.